Archive | July, 2018

Marketing ”Exclusiveness”

2 Jul

I have a confession to make and I am also going to drop a big ”oh wow” on the marketing profession.

Confession – NO CLUE WHAT A DOLE WHIP IS. No honestly – I spent 22 years in the USA but on the Northeastern Seaboard and I don’t think I have even ever eaten a DQ. So recent posts about some Dole Whip something now being at Disney World just means wha? So why am I telling you this? Because I have noticed over the years of travelling back and forth the upsurge of homogenous branding. When we were growing up outside of Philadelphia WaWa, Tastykake, Guernsey Cow these were local and regional brands and if you went on vacation to even Ohio they didn’t know them. To which we thought – poor you. You treasured local treats – like Salt Water Taffy you could only get in Atlantic City.

But then brands decided to trick you – here comes the ”oh wow”. See in order to expand your market you have to make sure the consumer wants to buy your product. So, what do brands do, they create a demand. In the age of the selfie it’s actually easy. You simply create ”exclusiveness”. You tell John Q that even though he has never ever had a Krispy Kreme in his life and these are technically only available below the Mason Dixon line that they are way better than any other doughnut ever. You John Q are not part of the club unless you are enjoying our product. And joy of joys we are opening a franchise cookie-cutter establishment near you soon. Move over KrispyKreme we kids from the block know that nothing will ever beat Felix’s fresh on Sunday Morning with the exception of the doughnut shop in Hershey (which I hear has closed).

Funny thing is – exclusiveness is just an extension to the concept of ”demand’. Way back in the dark ages a company called Cabbage Patch had pretty most the ugliest dolls you have ever seen. These things were not moving off of the shelves. So, what did they do? Ingenious. They removed them from the shelves. They made them scarce. They said ”get them now they’re going quick”. And bam everyone wanted one next gift buying season. The reason I feel this is wrong is that whilst there are some genuinely fabulous global brands – there are a lot of things you should be asking yourself if it is really an improvement? Is it really fabulous that the local farmer’s market is closing down to be replaced by a strip mall of homogeneous brands you can get anywhere?

It’s not only ruining palettes (IMHO) but we also no longer have a decent control of ingredients. How can we protest Monsanto and then get same as everyone else food? If you buy corporate solutions you become a part of the product yourself. Not completely wrong but thinking first is warranted.

Remember to market internally!

2 Jul

We spend a lot of time working on our external shell – how the world perceives us, our products, our services. We think about our corporate vision, branding, website, letterhead, signature etc. We are very polished in marketing ourselves externally. But how about internally? My friend and former colleague Hank Poot wrote several posts about the engaged employee and the actual loss in profitability by companies by people who ”just do their job”. I say take it one step further¬†– and people this isn’t news – make sure to market yourself internally. All those great values we write down in value ladders and pyramids, do all of your employees know and embrace them ?

Do they get it? Have you reviewed it lately? Have you checked it on the work floor? You’d be surprised how many people say ”yes” and either have their own interpretation or don’t actually get it. And as marketing is in everything and nothing sells better than a true story making sure everyone has the same story is crucial.

It’s kind of like ”undercover” boss but then without the cameras. Enjoy the journey.

Pondering ”culturalness”

2 Jul

I was pondering on cultural differences recently – particularly in the light of the ongoing ‘brexit negotations’ and the AI bots which developed their own trading language. That negotiating with different countries isn’t only knowing the language.

Having lived in the Netherlands for many years I can tell you that negotiating with the Dutch is, imho, one of the most difficult things. As you never feel like everyone go what they wanted. It is probably a US thing – we go in wiht our list of ideas, wants, desires and tend to openly say ”we want this what do you want for it”. Whereas the Dutch trade. They often have a list of throw-away items they can lose, their main goal and sometimes a hidden one. They can seem amazingly happy at the smallest ”win” and fight ferociously for something you think doesn’t rate.

Culturalness also goes to how people use language. On the other side of the pond several countries speak the same language(s) as this side yet they use it differently. Not just accent, spelling and vocabulary but also different use. So you take different cultural perspectives, rules of negotiation and use of language and we can prouldy announce that in 2017 we still have a tower of Babel! [wonderful Dutch expression loosely translated as Babylonian lost in translation]. Maybe emojis will save us? If the AI bots don’t takeover first…

Back to blogging…

2 Jul

Hello there it’s been a while. I was all taken up with ”less is more” channels and trying to improve profile views with articles on LinkedIn versus blog posts…more fool me because if you send people to your great site/blog you need to keep it up to date. The question is always who is looking for me? How do they find me? AND – what do I want them to see?¬† So back to personal branding and re-populating the blog/website with some ponderings and musings on (global) marketing. But first the best thing to do – re-use content. So the next few posts will be transferring some linkedin articles over. Bear with me folks!